Best Air Purifier For Mold (May 2019): Top Picks For Airborne Spores Removal
Is mold affecting you? If you have the mold allergy, you need to get the best air purifier for mold. It’s simply one of the best solutions to your health problem.
With today’s modern air purifiers, you can wage war not only on mold and mold spores but on other allergens and pollutants as well. So, you see, an air purifier can really contribute to your overall health and wellbeing – while also controlling (and preventing) the development of mold in your home.
Best Air Purifier for Mold (May 2019): Top 10 Picks & Reviews
Mold and Mildew
Mold and Mildew
Before going any further, let’s first distinguish mold from mildew. We see it all the time – mold and mildew – these 2 types of fungi are usually paired together because they’re very similar to each other. Scientifically speaking, however, they’re not the same (just closely related).
Mildew, on the other hand, is generally colored white. So there – you just learned how to distinguish these 2 types of fungi by their colors.
As for their appearance, mildew basically has thin structures. In contrast, molds can develop into thick formations.There are also differences in the growth patterns of mold and mildew. Mold typically grows on dead and decaying objects such as:
Food (rotten food, in particular)
Building structures (walls, ceilings, floors, etc.)
Note that mold and mildew have one thing in common – they both thrive in humid and moist environments. In homes, you will often find mold and mildew in the bathroom, basement, and areas with water leaks and no proper air ventilation.
As you can see, mold and mildew are quite different from each other. But then, again, these 2 are referred to as almost the same when speaking from a household point of view. And so, generally speaking (not from a scientific viewpoint), mildew can be considered as an early form of mold when found in homes and building structures.
Although mold and mildew are very similar in nature, this post is mainly about mold – its bad effects on health, how to get rid of it, and how to prevent it from coming back. The role of an air purifier in fighting against mold is also one of the main concerns of this article.
Disadvantages of Having Mold
Aside from their disgusting appearances, molds can cause the following health problems:
- Trigger allergic reactions
- Trigger asthma attacks
- Worsen already existing health problems (such as sinus)
- Cause allergies (if you’re not allergic to it yet, since mold is a type of allergen)
What is Black Mold?
For some reason, black mold (distinguished by its color) is more popular than the other types (or colors) of molds. Known in the scientific world as Stachybotrys, black mold is also called toxic black mold. Cases known as black mold poisoning are also causing panic in many households these days.
The truth is, there are no sufficient evidences to support the claim that black molds are more toxic than other types of molds. More studies are still being done about this issue – but right now, we can say that black mold is just as irritating and dangerous as other types of molds.We have already established the fact that exposure to mold is not good for one’s health, right?
So, such findings are applicable to all types (and colors) of molds. Black mold symptoms are also similar (if not the same) with other types of molds. So, yes, they can cause serious health problems – that’s why black mold removal and mold growth (of all colors) should be eliminated and prevented from coming back again.
How to Remove Mold
What does it take to remove mold? Below, I have listed 5 different ways on how to remove mold in your home.
- Use a cleaning agent with bleach. This method is proven to be effective in cleaning and disinfecting non-porous surfaces (tiles, glass, etc.) from mold as it can penetrate deep down into the roots of molds to completely destroy them. However, using bleach is not that effective when molds grow on porous surfaces (like wood) as the substance won’t be able to reach down into the roots. Note, too, that cleansing products with bleach contain chemicals that are harmful to health.
- Use vinegar. You can substitute vinegar to cleansers with bleach if you want to use a safer and more environment friendly approach. For best results, use full strength vinegar and spray moldy surfaces with it. Allow the mold to soak in the vinegar for about 30 minutes before brushing and rinsing the surfaces affected by mold. You can also spray vinegar on surfaces regularly to prevent mold growth and regrowth.
- Use vinegar and baking soda. Both vinegar and baking soda are known to be natural (and safe cleansers). To use this method, spray the moldy surfaces with vinegar first before applying a generous amount of baking soda to the affected areas. Then, spray vinegar on the areas being treated again before brushing and rinsing the residue with water.
- Cut or remove the affected area and replace it. This method is applicable to porous surfaces like wood. Since it’s really hard to remove and kill mold from such type of surface, the best thing to do is to remove the contaminate part (don’t wait for it to get worse) and replace it with a mold-free part.
- Use a mold air purifier. By using an air purifier that’s effective in killing mold and mold spores, the mold problems in your home will be solved (or at least, controlled).So really, do air purifiers eliminate mold? The simple answer is yes. However, removing mold with air purifiers will only be truly effective if you supplement it with other mold removal methods.
Honeywell 50250-S Air Purifier Review
- True HEPA Filter – It comes with a glass fiber HEPA filter that’s 99.97% effective in cleaning the air from pollutants that are as small as 0.3 microns.
- Carbon Activated Filter – This works as pre-filter and can capture mold spores as well as mold gases and vapors.
- Design – It’s designed to be round so that it can filter the air from all directions.
- Speed – It has 3 speeds to control the unit’s air purification process.
As one of the best air purifier for mold in this Top 10 list, this Honeywell air purifier is very effective in removing mold spores and mold vapors from the air. It’s also powerful enough to handle air cleaning and purification in a large sized room.
Surround Air Intelli-Pro XJ-3800 7-in-1 Intelligent Air Purifier Review
- True HEPA Filter – This model uses a HEPA system that’s 99.97% effective in filtering up to 0.3-micron size pollutants (including mold spores).
- Activated Carbon Filter – As pre-filter, this can absorb mold vapors, chemicals, and odors.
- UV Lamp – This air purifier is effective in killing germs and other microbes that are present in the air. It’s also effective in killing mold and mold spores.
- Ionizer – Its built-in ionizer releases negative ions to clean the air from pollutants.
This model of air purifier landed on the Top 2 slot of this Top 10 list because of its 7 air purification stages (which is very impressive). It uses a True HEPA filter, an activated carbon filter, an ionizer, a UV lamp, a Photocatalytic TiO2 filter (this produces some amounts of ozone), a pre-filter, and a dust collector (which also acts as a filter). Yes, this air purifier is very effective in killing molds and mold spores.
Alen BreatheSmart Customizable Air Purifier Review
For a really powerful air purifier, you can consider the Alen BreatheSmart Customizable air purifier . You’ll be glad to know that it’s available in many shades of color such as white, black, green, blue, gold, pink, etc.
- HEPA Filter – It uses a HEPA filtering system as its main air purifier.Ionizer – Its built-in ionizer has its own on/off control.
- Speed – It comes with 4 speeds for 4 levels of air purification power.
- SmartSensor Technology – On auto mode, it can sense the air quality in a particular room and can automatically adjust its settings to purify the air (as needed).
- Area Coverage – 1,100 square feet.
I like this model of Alen air purifier because it’s powerful and effective in cleaning the air from pollutants (including mold spores).
GermGuardian AC5350B Elite 4-in-1 Digital Tower Air Purifier Review
This Germguardian air purifier Elite is a truly one-of-a-kind tower type filtration system. It’s only available in 1 color – black.
- True HEPA Filtering System – It’s effective for filtering 99.97% of allergens and other microscopic elements in the air. It can filter pet dander, pollen, mold spores, dust, etc.
- Charcoal Filter Design – It comes with a filter that’s very effective in absorbing odor molecules from the air.
- UV-C Light Technology – It purifies the air by killing germs, bacteria, viruses, etc.
- Speed – It has 5 speeds for 5 levels of cleaning and purifying the air.
The Germguardian Elite has a very effective air cleaning system. Allergy suffers will surely find it useful because it’s a great air purifier for pet allergies and other forms of allergies as well.
Oransi Finn HEPA UV Air Purifier Review
If you’re particularly looking for a tower model of air purifier, consider the Oransi Finn. It’s available in silver and black (combination) color.
- V-HEPA Filter – As the main filter, this can purify the air up to 99% on 0.3-micron size particles.
- Carbon Filter – A carbon filter serves as the first filtering system when catching and trapping pollutants in the air.
- Ionizer – The ionizer feature is effective in keeping your indoor environment clean and germ-free.
- UV Lamp – This feature helps in the air purification process by destroying airborne bacteria, viruses, and other types of microbes in the air (including mold spores).
This is a powerful model of mold air cleaner and you can use it in a large room. Running it 24 hours a day will help maintain an indoor air environment that’s free from mold spores and other pollutants.
Airfree Onix 3000 Filterless Air Purifier Review
The Airfree Onix 3000 Filterless Air Purifier stand-alone model of air purifier is different from the other types of air purifiers included in this Top 10 list.
Still, it’s worth considering when looking for an air purifier that can help with mold problems. As of this writing, it’s only available in 1 color – black.
- Filterless Technology – It doesn’t use filters in its air purification process. Instead, it uses heat (in 400 degrees Fahrenheit) to kill airborne contaminants and pollutants.
- Operation – Polluted air is sucked into the device and sterilized inside. Clean, purified air (after it’s been cooled off) is then released back into the room.
- Energy Consumption – It operates on 52 watts of power.
- Night Light – It comes with an adjustable night light (low to bright).
You can use this air purifier in a large room. While it’s effective in purifying the air from mold spores and other contaminants and pollutants, it’s not that useful in filtering the air from other forms of air pollution.
Rabbit Air BioGS 2.0 Ultra Quiet HEPA Air Purifier (SPA-550A) Review
I chose the Rabbit Air SPA-550A, stand-alone model, to be the Top 7 unit in this Top 10 list because it’s very effective in dealing with mold and mold spores. Should you decide to get it, it’s available in white color.
- True HEPA System – This model is 99.97% effective in capturing small particles of pollutants in the air (up to 0.3 microns in size).
- Activated Carbon Filter – It comes with a charcoal-based carbon filter that’s effective in absorbing mold odors (VOCs and MVOCs) and other molecular pollutants in the air.
- Ionizer – It releases negative ions for a thorough cleaning of the indoor environment.
- Pre-Filter – A washable pre-filter acts as the first line of defense in filtering airborne pollutants.
With its True HEPA system and multiple air filtering methods, this model proves to be very useful in solving and controlling mold problems. It can also cover a wide area, so you can use it in large rooms.
Alen T500 Tower Air Purifier Review
For a good choice on a tower air purifier, you can consider the Alen T500 air purifier. It comes in combination colors of white and silver, black and espresso, and more.
- HEPA Filter – It’s HEPA filter is 99.8% effective in purifying the air from pollutants that are as small as 2.5 microns.
- Speed – It has 3 speeds equivalent to 3 cleaning levels of air purification.
- Noise Level – 42db to 56db.
- Area Coverage – 500 square feet.
While this is a good type of an all-around air purifier, it’s not that efficient in solving mold problems because it doesn’t even use a True HEPA filter. Still, if you’re only dealing with minor mold problems, this unit could work for you.
Winix 5500-2 Air Purifier Review
For another good option on a stand-alone air purifier for mold, consider the Winix 5500-2 air purifier. You can get it in black color.
- True HEPA Filter – It’s 99.97% effective in cleaning the air from small particles of pollutants (up to 0.3 microns in size). This can trap floating mold spores in the air.
- Activated Carbon Filter – It comes with a pre-filter that’s washable and reusable.
- Ionizer – Its PlasmaWave technology can deal with airborne air pollutants on a molecular level.
- SmartSensor Technology – At auto mode, the unit can adjust its air purification settings according to the present air quality of a particular room.
With its True HEPA filtering system, this Winix air purifier is effective in killing mold spores, virus, dust, odor-causing elements, etc. It can also cover a large area – so you can use it in your living room.
Oransi Max Air Purifier Review
This model of Oransi air purifier is a very efficient air filter, that’s why it grabbed the Top 2 slot in this Top 12 list. You can get it in white color.
- V-HEPA Filtering System – It comes with a filter system that’s 98% effective in purifying the air from dust, allergens, pollutants, and germs.
- Activated Carbon Filter – The pre-filter works in trapping odor causing particles.
- Pre-Filter Design – Having a pre-filter can prolong the life of the main filter (HEPA filter).
- Filter Indicator Light – The unit will alert you when a change of filter is needed.
This is definitely a full-featured air purifier and it will effectively clean and purify the air in a large room. You can, therefore, place it in your living room or any area in your house or office that needs air purifying.
Understanding an Air Purifier
To put it simply, an air purifier works by filtering and cleaning the air of pollutants – which include allergens and germs. There are 5 basic types of air purifiers that are effective for combating indoor air pollution:
Because of their efficiency, HEPA filters usually work as the main filtering system when it’s used in an air purifier.
When choosing a HEPA air purifier, however, it would be best to choose one that comes with a True HEPA filter.
Unlike HEPA-type and HEPA-grade filters, True HEPA filters are proven to be 99.97% effective in filtering particles that are as small as 0.3 microns (that’s really small).
Other HEPA type filters are not as efficient (although they’re good, too).
We just know that small, microscopic elements are even more dangerous to our health – as they can penetrate our lungs and cause more damages in our bodies.
Activated Carbon Filter
Activated carbon filters often serve as pre-filters to HEPA filters. When used this way, the life of HEPA filters can be prolonged as large particles of pollutants are first filtered through the carbon filters. The very nature of carbon purifiers make them efficient as filters for odors and odor-causing particles in the molecular level.
This type of filter can also work independently – not just as pre-filters to HEPA filters.
An ionizer works by releasing negative ions in the air. You see, air pollution is mainly composed of positive ions. When negative ions are more than the positive ions in the air, they will weigh down the positive ions.
These pollutants will then fall to the floor or cling on surfaces where they can be easily cleaned.
As pollutants and contaminants (even the microscopic ones) are no longer airborne, these will be less harmful to your health. You see, they are only harmful when they are breathed in and absorbed by the body.
Note, however, that until you clean your environment, the pollutants will still remain in your surroundings. For this reason, it’s very important to vacuum and clean your living space regularly (even if you’re using an ionizer).
Ultra Violet Light
Ultra Violet Light or UV Light is used in the air purification process by exposing germs and microbes to this deadly radiation (this type of UV light is harmless to humans and pets, but destructive to microorganisms).
Bacteria, viruses, molds and other types of microorganisms will die when exposed long enough to UV light.
Ozone generators, as air purifiers, release ozone into the air. Since ozone is a toxic gas, it is capable of killing contaminants and pollutants (which include allergens and germs) in the air.
To accomplish this task, however, a high concentration of ozone is needed – which is harmful to humans and animals.
When ozone generators are used, it’s advised that people and pets leave the area that’s about to be treated. Treatment can be done in about 2 hours – after this time, people and pets can return to the treated room and experience fresh and clean air.
Best Air Purifier for Mold
Now that you know the different types of air purifiers, I will tell you how each one works in killing mold and mold spores in your indoor environment.
But first, it’s important to understand what mold and mold spores are.
Mold, which can be seen by the naked eyes, is a type of fungus. It grows on food and on moist surfaces and humid environments. When fully developed, mold can have powdery and dusty characteristics.
Molds produce mold spores – and you can’t see mold spores because they’re microscopic in size. They’re so light and small that they float in the air and pollute the environment.
And yes, you can breathe them in without knowing it. If you are allergic to mold and mold spores, you will have an allergy attack when there are mold spores in your environment.
While mold spores are airborne, they will soon evolve into molds and grow onto surfaces. They will then spread as molds and produce more mold spores in the air. Their life cycle will then continue on and on until controlled.
All 5 basic types of air purifiers work in combatting mold and mold spores (you need to kill them both). Fortunately, you will find air purifiers that carry one or more features of these air purifying systems.
Still, you need to understand how each type of purifier works in killing and preventing mold and mold spores in your environment.
HEPA Filter Vs. Mold and Mold Spores
HEPA filters (even True HEPA filters) are not that effective in filtering mold because the very structure of mold is attached onto surfaces (not airborne).
Mold spores, on the other hand, are airborne – and they measure anywhere from 1 to 20 microns in size.
Yes, HEPA filters can effectively capture and kill mold spores.
As mold spores can’t survive in dry environments, being trapped in a HEPA filter can kill them.
It’s also a sterile environment – so, they really don’t stand a chance to survive.
When you get an air purifier with HEPA filter, know that this is very useful in getting rid of mold spores in the air.
Actually, this is also a great air purifier for pets since it’s also effective in filtering pet hair and pet dander.
Activated Carbon Filter Vs. Mold and Mold Spores
An activated carbon filter works well in mold control because it’s effective in combatting mold odor. Mold odors become VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) and MVOCs (Microbial Volatile Organic Compounds) – which are both harmful to our health.
As vapors and gases (you are familiar with that musty odor from the mold, right?), VOCs and MVOCs can irritate the respiratory system and cause diseases and allergies – that’s why they need to be removed from the environment, too.
When an air purifier employs the use of carbon filters, mold odors will be absorbed by the filter on a molecular level. This process will rid the air of mold vapors, gases, and smells.
This type of filter also makes for a good air purifier for allergies as unpleasant odors can also trigger allergic reactions.
Ionizer Vs. Mold and Mold Spores
An ionizer is effective in fighting and killing mold spores by exposing them to high concentrations of negative ions. This process, therefore, minimizes the spread of mold spores that can develop into the mold.
An ionizer is very useful in breaking the life cycle of the mold while in its mold spore stage. Since an ionizer can also purify the air from other contaminants, the food supply of mold spores will also decrease and affect their life span.
Unfortunately, negative ions are not capable of killing mold directly.
UV Light Vs. Mold and Mold Spores
While UV light can kill mold, long exposure to the light’s radiation is needed in order to effectively accomplish this task (direct sunlight on the mold can kill it).
Artificial UV light (those used in air purifiers) is only effective in killing mold spores in the air as it doesn’t require long exposure to the radiation for these elements to be destroyed.
When UV light is used in air purifiers, mold spores, as well as bacteria and viruses in the air, can be destroyed. Therefore, a UV light sterilizer is a great feature to have in an air purifier for home use.
Ozone Generator Vs. Mold and Mold Spores
While ozone can prove to be deadly to mold spores, it is not capable of killing mold.
When the ozone feature is used in an air purifier, you can expect the toxic gas to attack the cell structures of mold spores to prevent them from living and regenerating into the mold.
An ozone generator is, therefore, effective in mold control as an ozone shock treatment can effectively purify the air from all airborne contaminants (including mold spores).
Things to Consider When Buying an Air Purifier for Mold
So, you’re now looking out to buy the best air purifier for mold. Consider the following points below.
- Recommended Room Size – Check on a unit’s recommended room size to see if it’s suitable for the area you intend to use it to. Look for a product that can effectively handle the space in your room to make sure that it will work. For example, an air purifier for the large room should at least have a coverage area of 350 square feet. A whole house air purifier should have an even bigger coverage area.
- CADR – The CADR (Clean Air Delivery Rate) is important in assessing the overall effectiveness of a particular model of air purifier. It refers to the volume of air an air purifier can clean per minute (on a per particle basis). If this information is available, know that the ideal CADR is anywhere above 100. A CADR that’s below 100 is considered poor. For a CADR that’s around 100 – this is considered good. And if it’s over 300, then that’s really REALLY good.
- Filter System – If filters are used, know the type of filter (or filters) used in a particular product (HEPA, activated carbon, etc.). For budgeting reasons, it’s also important to know how much the filters cost and how long they usually last.True HEPA filter replacements, for example, cost around $20. Regular HEPA filters, on the other hand, cost so much less (about half the price of True HEPA filters). HEPA filters also have life spans of 6 months to 5 years (depending on use).
- Noise Level – If you intend to let your air purifier run for 24 hours, the noise level is indeed very important (especially at night). You can check on the decibel ratings of the product that you’re interested in (this information is often listed in the manufacturer’s product description). More often than not, air purifiers are quiet on their low settings. Understandably, they can be quite loud on high settings – and REALLY LOUD in turbo mode.
Well, I really hope this post proved to be helpful in your battle against mold, mildew and mold spores. It’s a battle we can all relate to, that’s why I’m very passionate about it. Mold is ugly, the mold is bad – let’s get rid of it fast!Pass this article along to your friends as they surely need to know all the information in this post as well. I would also appreciate it if you let me know your choice on the best air purifier for mold in the Top 10.